1. What is Bella weeping for during that long night of mourning? Is Jake at the forefront of her mind or is she grieving for the humanity she is giving up? Do you think Edward knows what she is mourning over? What are the “adjustments” Bella has made which allow her to move on in the morning?
I just finished reading this chapter and this is my take on this. I think Bella is grieving for losing the life she could have had with Jacob. She loves Jacob too. As a really close friend and in some way also as a lover. Her choice to live with Edward and become a vampire takes her away from that loving friendship. She wants both and she doesn't see any possibility for this to happen. There is no other choice but Edward for her. This choice does hurt her best friend and that's even more reason for her intense grief and sense of (coming) loss. I don't think Edward completely understands this. He understands she's crying over Jacob, but I think he might be a bit shocked by her intense reaction. Maybe he thinks bella loves Jacob more than him? Well, he should have seen her reaction in New Moon when he left. The next morning Bella has had enough time to come to terms with her decision. She needed that night so she can focus on her future with Edward.
2. Why does Edward suddenly change his mind in the meadow? Is his about-face a response to what Bella has been saying about their wedding plans? What does it have to do with Bella’s grief the night before? Is his reaction disproportionate?
I think there are two sides to this sudden change of heart. At one side there's Edward's shock at Bella's strong feelings for Jake. Stronger that he might have realized. Why not rush into all the things Bella wants, so she won't change her mind..? The other side is Edward's more noble nature I think. He honestly wants to please Bella and feels like he has hurt her by making her give up her old life, with family and friends. "You can have happiness your way. My way is always wrong." And the last side that might also play a part in Edward's behaviour is reversed psychology. Bella always tries to please everybody, so by (pretending?) to give in to her demands and counting on her to stop him and wait for the wedding. She can look forward to the wedding a bit more now and grumble less about it.
3. Why does Bella insist on waiting and doing everything as they planned? Does she feel differently about marrying Edward now? Or is she just determined to do things correctly? Which considerations do you think weigh most heavily on her: eg. saying her goodbyes, giving Edward the wedding he dreams of, having a care for his soul, committing herself publicly to him before becoming a vampire....or any others you can think of?
I think there are several things that go through her head and most of them are selfless. She would never hurt Alice by saying no to her. Charlie and Renée deserve a goodbye and she knows perfectly well that Edward wants a real wedding, eventhoug (spelling?) he would never admit that to her. I don't think one consideration weighs more than another, they all matter a lot to her.
4. Who do you think is actually right about what would be best for them here, Edward or Bella?
Bella. She's much more practical about it all. She may not like the big production, but she knows it's needed for the sake of their friends and family. About the sex thing, I think it's right to wait til after they're married. They've waited for this long, Edward is a hopeless romantic (and so is Bella I believe, she just has less patience) and it wouldn't hurt their souls either. I think they'd be sorry if they made love in the meadow before they got married.
5. The last chapter of Eclipse doesn’t leave us with the upbeat feeling you might expect when a book ends with its hero and heroine planning their wedding. Does the faintly elegiac note on which it closes make sense? Did it bother you? Did it make you worry whether Bella had made the right choice?
I was VERY happy that I had Breaking Dawn right next to me, ready to immediately read the rest of the story! I felt so bad for Jacob. He was in such pain. I felt all proud of Edward that he did sent a wedding invation and a very sensitive, honest note with it. He isn't trying to make it any more difficult for Jacob, it just is tearing Jacob up from the inside. I didn't feel Bella made any wrong choices, I just hoped Jacob would be allright and would come back and be friends with Bella again.